How many people have you slept with?
It’s a question many people are asked when they begin to date someone new. But the real questions might be, should I be asking? And should I answer?
No. And here’s the reasons why.
In a recent study by Match.com, they asked 5,675 people (ages ranging from 18 to over 70), if they would want to know how many partners their significant other has been with, and more than half answered no.
This makes sense considering the assumed assumptions of any answer always makes the partner feel uncomfortable. If they’re number is too high, they’re seen as promiscuous and sex-hungry; if it’s low, they’re seen as inexperienced and prude.
So what’s too high? What’s too low? Either way, there’s no right response to this question.
Furthermore, if you’re the person asking, there’s a good chance you won’t even get an honest answer. From a Singles in America 2015 Study, 14% of all men asked admitted they lied about their number, while 17% of women did the same.
Of course, you can’t just ignore the sexual history question. It helps to understand where your partner stands, whether if they’re interested in a relationship or casual sex. So how do you ask the question without asking the question?
Lisa Mattson has the solution.
She recently published a book called, The Exes in my iPod: A Playlist of Men Who Rocked Me to Wine Country. In it, she explains how ignoring the number question was affecting her relationships. She told the Wall Street Journal that, with her now-husband of 11 years, when they met they didn’t sleep together for the first month. In that time, they shared their sexual history gradually through past stories.
“It wasn’t necessarily a conversation about a number, but I was much more confident and talked about how I’d made mistakes.” she told WSJ.
So you don’t need to recount every sexual experience you’ve ever had, but rather the ones that taught you something about yourself or others. It’s simply having a conversation that can last an entire relationship.
Your partner should be interested in who you are now, not who you were back then. By talking about your experiences, you’re helping your partner understand where you’re coming from, and not slapping a number on your forehead.
Grab Lisa Mattson’s book today.
Is it worth answering the question, “How many people have you slept with?”